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Blue Dot Trail, Appalachian Trail, Iris Trail Loop From Sawmill Lake

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High Point State Park

Blue Dot Trail, Appalachian Trail, Iris Trail Loop From Sawmill Lake is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Montague Township, New Jersey that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.5 mi Elevation gain 1,082 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Forest Lake Views Wild flowers
Description
Waypoints (0)

This is a hike from Sawmill Lake Campground. The Blue Dot Trail starts at the campsite. If you are not staying at the campground there is a 2-car parking pullout at the trailhead but you should check at the park office if not. Once close to the top you will get a nice westward view overlooking Sawmill Lake. The Blue Dot trail ends at Appalachian Trail which traverses a mountain ridge while going south. You get some nice views to both West & East, at one point nicely overlooking Lake Rutherford. There is a not-too-long side trail to Rutherford Shelter marked with blue blazes.  You then return to the AT and follow it to intersection with Iris Trail which is marked with red dot blazes. While following Iris Trail you come close to Lake Rutherford where the trail turns sharply left while a woods road going straight enters a private off-limits area at the lake. There are bears in this area so please be careful. If you are into geocaching there a number of caches that are up for grabs not too far off the trail along the loop. Iris trail itself is a rather easy walk all the way almost to the park office. Before you reach the end of Iris trail there is a short blue trail on the right that will take you to parking area that is accessible from Rt 23. Iris trail ends at intersection with AT and it was a quick hike back to Blue Dot Trail and back to the campsite. You can also shorten the hike a bit if you don't visit Rutherford Shelter.

Weather
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Reviews (33)
Photos (333)
Recordings (29)
Completed (136)
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Hillary Manning
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HikingRockyScramble

Really fun! The beginning blue dot trail is very steep and rocky, with some fun climbing sections. The rest of the trail goes between rocky and smooth walking, with some beautiful overlooks and a lake.

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Jaime M
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HikingBugsScramble

I did this on a 90 degree day, and the first bit to the AT was intense! It was generally a nice hike after that, did not come across a single person. The lake is beautiful, keep your eye out for a small trail that goes almost to the shore. Could see bald eagles landing in a tree on the other side of the shore. I saw four bear, including a momma with her two cubs. Luckily I did not surprise them as I had been clapping frequently. Little too much for me, I would love to do this hike at the end of the season, or when the bears are asleep!

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Scott Rudolph
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Hiking

Great hike for sure. Very rocky so wear good shoes/boots. Sights were great. No mud and not many bugs. A few spider webs here and there but it’s nature. A good rock wall to climb. Not super difficult and made it fun. Trails were clearly marked and made it easy to Follow. Will def be doing again.

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Karen Bush
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Hiking

We did this hike today. It was fabulous!! I will tell you that the first .5 miles after you park at the trail head is uphill with 1/2 of that more bouldering and hard climbing . Once you get up there if you want to do the 8 mile hike you will be following white painted slash marks on the trees and then you will be following the red dot trail around. It is extremely helpful to have the map downloaded and use that to find your location. Lots of rocks and boulders on these trails but beautiful. We did not see any bears but my husband talks the whole time so I'm sure he scared them off. Have fun!

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Stephen Phillips
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HikingMuddyOver grown
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Mike Preller
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BugsMuddyRocky
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Slutty Sully
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tons of newts. solid hike overall.

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John Hinkson
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First to Review

Blue dot was a fun climb and decent. The AT and Iris were mainly plain sailing. All three trails were very rocky, however, so prepare to have your feet and ankles banged up a little. But it's worth it for some beautiful vistas.

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Chris Boyer
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Hiking
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chuck Davenport
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Hiking
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Mark Kennedy
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Hiking
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Sara Nweiran
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Mountain biking
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Matthew Pridham
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Hiking
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Vanessa Garza
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Hiking
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Peter Brooks
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Hiking
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Kevin Richmond
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Hiking
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Becky Scheider
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Hiking
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Chris Lehr
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Hiking
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Chip Waller
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Hiking
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Michael Wellons
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Hiking
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Zark Xeno
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Hiking
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Julia Marchese
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Hiking
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Stavros Stamat
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Hiking
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Tara Kelly
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Hiking
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Craig Coulon
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Hiking
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